US Strike Kills Syrian al-Qaeda Faction Leader

No word on civilian casualties

According to CENTCOM, al-Qaeda affiliate leader Abu Hamzah al-Yemeni was killed in an unspecified US strike in the Idlib Province of northern Syria.

Al-Yemeni is a senior figure in Hurras al-Din, an al-Qaeda-loyal umbrella of Islamist groups in the area. The group is made up mostly of foreign Islamists who were fighting in northern Syria, and is active in Latakia, Idlib, and Aleppo.

CENTCOM said the killing of al-Yemeni would damage al-Qaeda’s ability to attack all over the world. That may be overselling things, as it’s not clear the Hurras al-Din are active anywhere beyond Syria. They added that there were no indications of civilian casualties at this time, a catch-all claim that US officials rarely correct when evidence emerges to the contrary.

CENTCOM’s statement emphasized that while they have struck some targets related to al-Qaeda, they are also attacking “Iran-backed militias” and the Assad government within Syria. Throughout the Syria war the US has often focused on Syria and Iran, the groups primarily fighting the Islamists.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.